Services for Youth (16-24)
Career Link works with young adults that need help with education and training that leads to employment. We encourage anyone who needs a GED or has a high school diploma or equivalent and wants to explore additional education to contact Career Link today.
Career Link administers federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grants. Students interested in high growth training programs that lead to good paying jobs should apply to Career Link for a WIOA grant to pay for their training. Grants can cover up to $22,000 in training costs, PLUS books and supplies, uniforms, travel and childcare reimbursements.
Hundreds of students every year are selected to have 100% of their training costs covered as they work towards a community college Certificate or an Associate Degree. Career Link also helps some students with the last two years of some Bachelor Degree programs. Talk to Career Link about your education and employment goals. We may be able to help you achieve your goals or refer you to other sources of financial aid.
Are You Eligible?
Applicants must be determined to be WIOA-eligible and selected for funding. Individuals 16-24 years old and meet one or more of the following criteria are encouraged to apply:
- Individuals who are a member of a low-income household (for example families eligible for SNAP benefits), or
- Individuals who have had experience with the juvenile or adult justice system, or
- Individuals who consider themselves to be “homeless”, or
- Individuals in foster care or who have aged out of foster care, or
- Individuals who are pregnant or a parent, or
- Individuals with a disability (learning or physical disability).
Funds are also available to:
- Individuals who have lost a job and been determined eligible for Unemployment Insurance, or for
- Individuals who are a displaced homemaker – family income has changed because of the death or divorce of a working spouse.
Contact a Career Link office nearest you to discuss your career goals. We can help you to explore your interests and skills while educating you about what occupations are in demand now and which ones are projected to be in demand tomorrow. If employers in our area are looking for skilled workers, we are often training individuals to work in those occupations and industries. We recommend two free online resources, CareerOneStop.com and Illinois workNet.com to explore career pathways.
Career Link partners with local community organizations to reward students in GED classes as they make progress in improving their reading and math levels. Students who meet training goals can earn vouchers to help pay for the tests. Moreover, those who earn their GED may be eligible to receive other incentives. If you are under 24 years old and need a GED, please contact your local Career Link office to see if you qualify for these special incentive-based programs. Opportunities for paid job experience while studying for the GED are also available.
The staff in our Resource Centers can help all job seekers access job leads through the internet or at local hiring events. Assistance is available at no cost in helping job seekers to produce a resume and to learn how to market skills to area employers.
Career Link also assists some students in Career Link funded training with part-time paid work experience and internships during the school year.
Approved Training Programs
Most WIOA-funded students are attending short-term training (less than 30 months) that lead to industry-recognized credentials that are required by employers. The majority of our customers attend community colleges in our area, but some also attend four-year universities and some private for-profit technical schools. Presently, Career Link funds many students at area schools in healthcare; information technology; advanced manufacturing; and transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL). For example, many Career Link participants are enrolled in Nursing (LPN & RN), Respiratory Therapy, Secure Software Development, CNC Operators; Industrial Maintenance, Diesel Mechanic, Welding, and Supply Chain Management programs at local schools.
Call or visit the Career Link office in the county where you live (see locations below). Customers who already have a training plan and want to explore if they might be WIOA eligible, may download the Pre-Application for Services and submit to your local Career Link office.
For more details on Youth Services, click here.